High contamination rates affect Geraldton’s organic food and garden waste trial

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Turning FOGO into compost at Meru Waste Facility.
Camera IconTurning FOGO into compost at Meru Waste Facility. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton/Supplied

Geraldton’s organic waste collection trial has hit a stumbling block, with up to half of all rubbish retrieved as part of the initiative being contaminated.

As part of the program, organic food and garden waste bins were delivered to 500 homes across 11 Geraldton suburbs in 2020 in a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfill.

City of Greater Geraldton staff have been tasked with completing visual inspections of the FOGO bins during the trial to ensure the appropriate material is being disposed of.

Acting chief executive Chris Lee said these assessments have revealed high contamination rates, preventing the waste from being recycled.

“The City is still undertaking the 500 household FOGO trial in which high contamination rates of up to 50 per cent across all suburbs in the trial are causing processing challenges,” he said.

“To ensure compost being produced from the organic waste is compliant, the City is working with Go Organics WA.”

Materials which cannot be placed into the FOGO bins include plastics, ceramics, glass, textiles, treated timber, bulk sand, and rocks.

Mr Lee said the City will review the program over the next six months to determine the future of the initiative.

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